On Tuesday, Congress held its first open hearing in 50 years on the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects. In an unprecedented move, Pentagon officials are acknowledging to Congress that the military has had multiple encounters with unidentified flying aircraft, which the government has labeled “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP). The most disturbing aspect of these hearings is not the government’s acknowledgment that these aircraft exist, it is the concession that they don’t know what they are or where they came from, according to Newsweek. The phenomena/aircraft have also demonstrated an advanced level of technology and propulsion systems our military cannot identify or match. The livestream of the UFO hearings can be viewed below.
The UFO hearings follow an unprecedented wave of transparency by the United States government on the subject, which has included the release of multiple videos of encounters, which provide more questions than answers. For a generation raised on The X-Files, the revelations are bringing the subject of UFOs from the realm of fringe conspiracy theory to reality. The Pentagon isn’t going fully into the idea these are alien spacecraft, however. They are floating the idea that we could be witnessing experimental foreign military craft, or even domestic military aircraft, operating under a thick cover of secrecy.
The Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Counterintelligence, and Counterproliferation is hosting the UFO hearings, as the Pentagon is classifying these phenomena as a possible threat to civilian or military aircraft. Two defense officials testified to the Congressional subcommittee: Ronald Moultrie, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security, and Scott Bray, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, according to The New York Times. Indiana Rep. André Carson (D), the chairman of the subcommittee panel holding the hearing, warned “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena are a potential national security threat. And they need to be treated that way. For too long, the stigma associated with UAPs has gotten in the way of good intelligence analysis.”
This new transparency from the government on UFOs may not have happened, if not for COVID. According to The Washington Post, the 2020 COVID-19 relief bill included the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021. That act included an unusual provision from the Trump Administration, that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a report on “Advanced Aerial Threats.” That nine-page report was issued in 2021 and included the revelation that, between 2004 and 2021, the government investigated 144 instances of UAPs/UFOs. That includes 11 reports of “near misses,” which the UFO hearings will address with the release of classified video footage. Even so, many UFO enthusiasts are disappointed that most of the evidence, particularly video, isn’t definitive or convincing. The evidence does include the governmental admission that the fast-moving aircraft made unusual maneuvers “without discernible means of propulsion.”
The UFO hearings did not address the recent report from the Pentagon’s Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program that some people who sighted UFOs suffered injuries including burns, paralysis, and brain damage because they came in contact with “advanced technology.” The former director of that unit, Luis “Lue” Elizondo, told Fox News in April that the cause of the injuries “is probably not some sort of adversarial technology we’re dealing with.” Instead, he thinks the injuries are incidental, akin to injuries one would get by standing too close to a jet engine.